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1 John 5:16

October 2, 2006

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life- to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

This is a great promise: when you pray for a believer to be granted repentance from their sin, God will answer your prayer.  God will use your prayers and the help given by the Holy Spirit to continue drawing that believer away from sin and into fellowship with God until the day he stands blameless before Christ.  This is the first way to deal with sin in the congregation.  Of course there is a place for rebuke and correction,  but the first line of defense against sin in our midst is to take this promise seriously and pray for one another. 

When we see a brother or sister sin, we shouldn’t stand back in pretended alarm as though something unthinkable has happened.  Don’t talk about them behind their back, don’t look down your nose at them, pray for them and God will give them life!  Here’s an example of how I see this prayer taking shape, “Lord it appears to me as though there is a blindness to the sin of pride in John Doe’s life.  Lord I believe that he is a brother who is trusting you for salvation and so I stand on this promise in 1 John 5:16 and I pray that you would restore him to a humble walk before you.  I know that my timing is not your timing and you have your own purposes in his life, so I pray that you would make me patient with him and with you even as you are patient with him and with me. Amen”

So that’s a promise and an example of how to pray for a sinning brother.   Now you are probably wondering about this sin that is unto death. The sin unto death is unbelief.  If the sin is accompanied by a denial of Christ, there is no promise of pardon in answer to your prayer.  John says “I’m not saying you should pray about that”  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pray for the repentance of unbelievers.  “I do not say that one should pray”  does not equal “do not pray”.  He’s just saying that he’s not giving us any promise about that.

But if it’s a brother or sister you’re praying for, pray confidently!  God will finish what he has begun in their life and he’s going to do it through your prayers.  Prayer is powerful.  So pray for one another.  Ask for prayer from one another.  Pray, pray, pray in all circumstances. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2006 1:17 pm

    this will definately get some air time in small group when we get to chapter 5. :)

  2. Air In permalink
    October 2, 2006 9:26 pm

    Yeah, I think I’ll be visiting this blog world more often. It has been quite encouraging. Now, to all you bloggers. I just ask that I can comment on your blog in person, not just here on the site. I’m writing this because I hear you all like posts, and I want you to know that I’ve been encouraged. However, I kind of like conversations in person. So, please don’t be offended if I don’t post often. Can I still visit without posting?

  3. October 4, 2006 2:12 pm

    Air In:

    I like the new name better . . . even if you don’t post on my blog ;-) You could come to the BLURP — Bloggers Live: Upper Room Party — and have conversations in person :-)

  4. October 4, 2006 10:34 pm

    Ummm, who’s Air In? Is this like that Bethlen/Beth problem? As long as no one starts calling *me* Bethie, I think we’ll be fine…

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